Most of us pay very little attention to our feet. A quick wash, a snip of the toenails, on with the shoes and off we go. If those shoes are fashion shoes that can be asking for trouble.
Here is how to look after your feet and interpret what they are telling you.
Everyone knows that feet need to be kept clean and dry for both health and sociability. That goes for socks too – bin them when they get scruffy.
Face up to it – the wrong footwear damages feet. That means no heels over two inches, no pointed toes and no unsupportive ‘ballet flat’ style shoes. All of these strain your feet and legs and can cause injury. None of us want that for the sake of shoes.
Runners are divided on this. Some say to toughen up feet with surgical spirit. Others recommend working on soft and supple skin. Whichever it is, get your running shoes properly fitted – they may be a different size from your normal shoes. Wear wicking socks and lubricate or plaster problem areas.
Heel pain can indicate inflammation of the band of tissue under the heel. This is due to impact and made worse by poorly cushioned shoes. The cure is time, but help out by wearing a heel pad and getting rid of those old shoes.
Tingling or pain in the toes can indicate the start of a nerve problem called Morton’s neuroma. This is often due to too-tight shoes, especially as feet can change size with age or pregnancy. Keep a check on sizing and never rely on labels alone.
Never ignore foot pain. If the above simple measures don’t work, ask your GP to refer you to a foot specialist. You don’t get spare feet!
I do a fair amount of running although not big events. Can't say I've ever done anything to toughen up skin. I have learnt the hard way that cheap socks are a bad idea, seams in the wrong place are an instant blister.
I was always told that it is surgical spirit, but you need intact feet first - don't try it with blisters, far too late by then.
That explains why I can't get a straight answer as to how to toughen up feet for a long run - there isn't one! I wonder which is more popular?